A Review of the Club's Field Trips for 2012

March – Thackaringa Station - Baileys Tank Garnet

The field trip for March was into the southern section of Thackaringa Station and the Baileys Tank garnet diggings. This was once a quarry and has now been backfilled. The garnets that were left over have been strewn all over the ground and are in plentiful supply. After lunch we headed over to the old Egebek quarry and collected some small beryl crystals in feldspar from one of the dumps.

Ilmenite - Arkaroola
Great Boulder Mine
April – Arkaroola

In April, we went up to Arkaroola. The whole area had been transformed following several bouts of rain and as a result the red hills were green. This rain also cut some of the roads and we could not access some of the planned sites. We did manage to find some good ilmenite crystals in Mawson Valley, stilbite and actinolite around Arkaroola Bore and nice sprays of actinolite with some copper minerals at the Yudnumutana Mines. On the last day we checked out a new area in the Great Boulder Mine and found some small but nice azurite and malachite.

The Huel Byjerkerno Mine

May - Sturts Meadow - Byjerkerno Tin Fields
In May, the field trip was to the Byjerkerno Tin Fields. We have been to this site previously however many of those on this trip were new to the club and had not been up here before. After a good look over the Huel Byjerkerno mine for samples of damourite mica, we headed over to the western part of the field and the old dam on Euro creek. Here there are some spectacular aboriginal rock carvings and a very picturesque waterhole.

June – MacDougalls Well Station - Corona Amethyst Field
The June trip location was up to the Corona Amethyst diggings. We first checked a new area in the northern part of the field where an untouched vein had been found. After a bit of specking over the old diggings and a BBQ lunch in the creek, we discovered as we walked up the creek that recent rains had exposed some quartz veins and these yielded nice smoky quartz plates.

August – Woolcunda Station - Desert Rose Diggings

Our trip down to dig desert roses in August was very well attended, with eight people going down to camp overnight on Saturday and another three joining in on Sunday. A couple of exploration holes showed promise so it was up bright and early Sunday morning to open them up to the layer where the crystals are located. One hole hit a very good layer and yielded most of the larger clusters while the other hole only a few plates. There was more than enough, though, from the main hole to ensure everyone went home with a good sample to add to their collections. It was great to camp out in the bush and enjoy the company of others around the fire, while having enough hands on deck to backfill the holes once the crystals were removed.

Desert Roses in situ
Contemplating backfilling the hole

September – Plumbago Station

Andradite from Mindamereeka Hill

In what has become an annual trip to Plumbago, five people from our club joined with members of the Port Pirie club and the South Australian Mineralogical Society for three days of fossicking - coinciding with the Labour Day long weekend. The Friday was spent at Crocker Well in the morning and then to the Mount Victoria Copper Mine in the afternoon. Some good epidote, magnetite and copper minerals were found.
Day two was spent at the Billeroo Davidite locality in the morning and at a new area - Mindamereeka Hill - in the afternoon. Most people were able to find a good davidite crystal and the new area was worth exploring as a seam of well formed andradite garnet crystals was discovered.
The last day was at the Ethiudna Mine where samples of copper minerals were still able to be collected.

Fairy Hill Copper Mine

October – Yancowinna Station - Fairy Hill Mine

In October, the field trip was to Yalcowinna Station and the copper mines around Fairy Hill. This was a rather unwelcoming day as a lightning storm came through and we were in fear of being struck. As a result the trip was cut short and we headed back to the safe side of Yancowinna Creek. After lunch we checked out the area around the Golden King mine and found some copper minerals with quartz crystals.

The Lady Brassey Mine

November – Thackaringa Station - Lady Brassey Area

The November trip was out to Thackaringa Station and to the Lady Brassey Mine. This is the southern end of the Thackaringa silver field and is relatively remote, so it hasn’t been picked over by too many fossickers. Some good samples of galena, siderite and sphalerite were found. After lunch we went to a location near the repeater station and the old sillimanite quarry, where there is an outcrop of black schist with staurolites and garnets.